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Frank Stella and his 1970 exhibitions

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Frank Stella became a celebrity in the early Seventies in Europe , where exhibitions were being organized all over Europe. Among them, his exhibitions in Zurich and Amsterdam where on both occasion were his V series exhibited. The difference?…. in Zurich these works were for sale and in Amsterdam they only were on show, but what makes thgis exhibition fro me more special is that with the exhibition a wonderful Wim Crouwel designed catalogue was published .

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The catalogue was published with a relief cover and this made it a true artist book as for an invitation…. they decide to use the shape of the 1960 Newstead Abbey painting to make the event even more special. In contrast the Zurich exhibition at the galerie Renee Ziegler had only an invitation with a special silkscreened V series pattern on the card ( but this is also very beautiful;-) 1970 was an important year for Frank Stella and www.ftn-books.com is lucky to have all three discussed items now in its inventory.

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Aat Veldhoen (1934-2018)

Perhaps he wasn’t the greatest dutch artist that ever lived, but still Veldhoen deserves his place in art history . He was the artist who almost “commercially” destroyed himself, by making his prints available for ALL and in someway inventing the multiple for the masses.

He drew his subjects directly on the plate and made rotaprints from these plates. Used cheap papers and sold these prints, which were not signed nor numbered from a cart run by Robert Jasper Grootveld for the extremely small amount of 3 dutch guilders. It meant that with so many works by Veldhoen on the market, his paintings and drawings were not valued as they should be.

Aat Veldhoen was a well known and colorful figure in the dutch art scene and had a 20 year relationship with Hedy d’Ancona, the former minister of Culture from the Netherlands.

 

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William Turnbull (1922-2012)

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In some ways the stone sculptures of William Turn bull remind of the ones i saw last year by the late Joost Barbiers. Rough pieces of stone, worked over in a way that a different object is created and which blends with its surroundings.

( above right is by Barbiers)

But where Turnbull developed his art into a colorful and sometimes joyful abstract modern art. Barbiers stayed sombre and kept working over the rough pieces of stone. Both i appreciate but in the longterm i would like to have an original Barbiers only for the outside and place it in the garden and let it blend with nature, whereas an original Turnbull would be admired and cherished inside the house and becoming an important part of the collection of Modern Art.

In 1952, he was included in the Young Sculptors exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) which had become the focal point for new art in London. Turnbull, along with Paolozzi ( a colleague and fellow art student)and Richard Hamilton and others, became a member of the Independent Group, a splinter group within the ICA which became an important forum for discussion and debate. The Independent Group has been cited as a progenitor of Pop Art, but soon after Turnbull was far from being another British Pop Art artist, going his own way and developing an art and style of his own.

Unknowingly Turnbull must have had a great influence on another dutch painter. Willem Hussem must have been inspired by Turnbull’s paintings since some of his compositions use the same patterns and colors.

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There are some nice early William Turnbull publications available at www.ftn-books.com

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Minimal Art at the Haags Gemeentemuseum

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It was in the early Eighties that i learned of the Minimal Art collection and history of the Haags Gemeentemuseum.

Crucial for the collection was the interest of almost all modern art curators in Minimal Art. Starting with Enno Develing who introduced the key artists of the Minimal Art scene for the first time in a large exhibition in 1968. Among them Donald Judd, Dan Flavin, Carl Andre and of course Sol LeWitt. Many of them would receive solo prentations in the years to follow, but this first time was a breakthrough for Minimal Art. The catalogue is arare book nowadays and i am lucky to have a copy for sale at www.ftn-books.com

After this first exhibition many exhibitions would follow. Enno Develing, Flip Bool, Rudi Fuchs and Franz Kaiser all took an interest in Minimal Art and because of this interest , exhibitions with LeWitt, Andre and Judd were organized in the decades after this first  1968 Minimal Art exhibition. I doubt that none was as important as this very first one, because after this first one Minimal Art was established as an art form, but another aspect that makes this first ( Develing ) exhibition important is that the relationship between the Gemeentemuseum and these artist was not only an artistic one.  The museum and its curators became friends with practically all Minimal Art artists, resulting in an ever growing collection of Minimal Art.

There is a nice link to a tribute to Sol LeWitt to be found over here:

http://www.gem-online.nl/files/media/gem/2016/sol_lewitt._a_tribute/ebook_sollewitt_web.pdf

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Jean Messagier (1920-1999)

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Personally i think Jean Messagier was a true Avant Garde artist. He explored paths and ways of painting well before others did and researched and developed a kind of painting which was typical for his art.

An almost spontaneous movement with the brush makes paintings and watercolors that feel organic, but these works are far from spontaneous, but well thought over works of art . It is the same as with Hans Hartung. The works look existed from some movements with pencil or brush, but designs and sketches prove that the gesture is not spontane and the result not just abstract, but a very well thought over abstract composition which is enlarged for the painting.

The same with Jean Messagier works . It is not necessary to buy an expensive painting by Messagier, because the Maeght gallery made some very nice Derriere le Miroir publication with Messagier and www.ftn-books.com has one of the most sought after CARGO publications with work by Jean Messagier available at its site.

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Oliver Boberg ( 1965 )

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The first time i was confronted with the work by Oliver Boberg was when he had  a large Retrospective exhibition. This was in 2004 at the Fotomuseum and i was very much impressed. Specially the large scale photographs had a feel of desolation and now i have bought for FTN Art two of his greatest photographs at a much smaller scale but still these are originals and very well worth collecting. The book i had on Boberg was sold years and years ago, but this is even better for the true admirer. The photographs are both from a very small edition of 20, numbered and signed and in pristine condition. Framed in a quite expensive frame and come from a collector from the US.

Memorial by Oliver Boberg , 2002,  edition 20, number 14/20, C-Print and signed by Boberg.

Frame measures 51 x 42 cm. C print is 35 x 25 cm. , condition is MINT

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“Erdgeschoss” by Oliver Boberg , 2001, edition 20, number 13/20, C-Print and signed by Boberg.

Frame measures 51 x 42 cm. C print is 38 x 15 cm. , condition is MINT

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Please visit the FTN art section on this page for more information

Oliver Boberg was born in Herten, Germany, in 1965. He studied art history at the University of Würzburg, Germany, from 1985–86, before transferring to the Art Academy Nürnberg to study painting from 1986–93. Since 1997 Boberg has garnered attention for his photographs of what appear to be bleak, uninhabited architectural sites but are in fact models constructed by the artist in his studio. The sense of neglect that haunts these scenes contradicts the painstaking meticulousness applied to their fabrication. In Boberg’s work from the late nineties, the elegant formalism of his compositions contrasts with the subject matter—color-drained stairwells, roof decks, and building facades painted to dissemble age and dilapidation. Works such as Park (1998) and Playground (2000) offer barren sites of disrepair despite their sunny titles. Boberg created his first films for the series Night Sites (2002–03). In these films, the artist utilizes familiar Hollywood devices—fluorescent blue lighting that typically permeates suspenseful night scenes and eerie settings like an abandoned alley or fog-coated forest—to promise a drama that never unfolds. In 2003, with his Building Shell series, Boberg returned to his characteristic photography of elaborate models, this time recreating multistory edifices in the midst of the construction process. In 2004 the artist began to work for the first time with black-and-white photography for his Pagesseries. In Pages and Walls (2007), Boberg revisited his photographic investigation of highly constructed, formalist sites of inattention. Inattention gives way to tragic neglect in his series Slums, begun in 2008, which focuses on the derelict makeshift dwellings composed of serrated tin and other urban debris. For this series, the artist juxtaposed his photographs with computer-generated drawings.

Solo exhibitions of Boberg’s work have been organized by the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago (2001), Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne (2002), Kunstverein Hannover (2003), and Duolun Museum of Modern Art in Shanghai (2005). His work has also been included in major group exhibitions such as Experiment at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2000), Moving Pictures at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York and the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao (2003), and Artist’s Choice: Herzog & De Meuron, Perception Restrained at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (2006). Boberg has been recognized with the Bayerischer Staatsförderpreis für junge Künstler, Fotografie (1997) and Förderpreis für bildende Kunst der Stadt Nürnberg (2005), among other awards. Boberg lives and works in Fürth, Germany.

 

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Felix Labisse (1905-1982)

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Felix Labisse, is for me one of the great surrealist painters from last century and i have a life long admiration for the artist and his works.

It must have been around 1970 that i visited in the company of my parents Paris. I started to grow an interest in art and limited editions because i had a membership with ARTA . a small gallery with a subscription program to buy at membership prices graphic art. My entire collection at that moment well below 5 lithographs.

Paris it was and beside the scenic neighbourhoods , museums and tourist attractions we went to shop at “galerie Lafayette”. We took the escalator and on the top floor …there it was . a true ART gallery and the first piece on show was this lithograph in a signed edition.

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I was so impressed with the lithograph that i borrowed the money with my father to buy it and since it has been in my collection. I still love the beauty of the typical Labisse female figures. It is not on the wall anymore, but is still very much appreciated as a wonderful piece of art that i cherish for being a Labisse and for being one of the first pieces of art that i ever bought.

www.ftn-books.com has some nice Labisse publications available

btw. The beautiful portrait of Labisse sitting is by Brassai

 

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Bob Bonies (1937)

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For me the only true “Hard edge” artist in the Netherlands is Bob Bonies, however Michiel Morel refers to the art of Bob Bonies as a rearrangement of FORMS AND COLORS.

I read his excellent article and it is unfortunate that it is only available in dutch, but for those who understand the language here is the link :

Bonies: Ordening van vorm en kleur (periode  1964 – 1968) (3)

As you can read in the article . Bonies stayed true to his art of rearranging , shifting and placing forms and colors in a new context and one of the earliest silkscreen that was published in a larger edition was the one he made for the Stedelijk Museum catalogue VORMEN VAN DE KLEUR

in which his contribution stands out together with the one Ellsworth Kelly made for the same publication. This Wim Crouwel designed publication is available at www.ftn-books.com

left Bonies and right Kelly

I have a lifetime admiration for Bob Bonies. He was one of the first artists i personally met at the Gemeentemuseum and a few years ago i bought a small collection of his publications from another bookdealer who had bought them from a Bonies collector and within one of the publications i found the birth card of his son Jiri. Even this card shows the quality of his works. The card is for sale too together with many other Bonies publications.

 

 

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Bettina Rheims ( 1958 ) another controversial title

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Here it is…another rarely encountered Bettina Rheims title. It is LES ESPIONNES.

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Published by one of the best photography publishers Gina Kehayoff, it stayed a rather obscure title and was rarely reviewed nor it was ordered by the regular Bookstores. My guess is the editions stayed under 1000 copies of which a few hundred were sold. What becomes of such an edition.? Not sold through the regular sales channels, only a handful loyal collectors who ordered it and certainly no interest by companies to have an imprint with their name on the cover. The reason…it is clear to me ..the subjects are transgenders who posed and were photographed by Bettina Rheims during the process of their transition. This has become one of the most important titles by Bettina Rheims and i was lucky to buy me a small stack of these important photography documents. The book is available through www.ftn-books.com and is still in mint sealed condition.

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Just a walk in PARIS 2009…. and Fluxus

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It was about 9 years ago that me and my wife Linda visited Paris. Dropped our son together with my sister in law, nephew and niece at the gates of Disneyland Paris and went to the city.

I know Paris well and took Linda for the first time to some “arrondissements” she had never visited before. There was the 16th where i had lived for almost a year and the Rue de Seine , the Modern art district .

At one of the galleries a FLUXUS exhibition was being held with art by BEN and Saito. To make this exhibition known to the outside world an extremely nice FLUXUS poster was published. Because i had a hunch that these posters would become important i asked if i could take 4 of them with me. NO problem….. and now 9 years later there is only one of these rare posters left and available at www.ftn-books.com and in time they have proven that i was right about them. They have proven to be important and highly collectable.